16 December 2013

Non-Eligable Ancestors

     I'm sort of in a holding pattern right now with my DAR application: I'm waiting for the next meeting while the registrar works on my application.  Meanwhile, I went on a vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, a historically preserved town set in 1776.  I learned a lot about what life was like in the early days of the American Revolution.  In part, I have a better understanding of why many folks choose to remain loyal to the British Crown.  Sure, you didn't feel like you were being treated fairly by your government, but was it bad enough to go to war and face an unknown future?

     On the way home, I visited the Kings Mountain National Battlefield Park, where I learned that citizens of South Carolina were strongly divided on the issue.  Odds are, if you can trace your ancestor back to that time and place, your ancestors were Loyalists.  Mine were.

     The books "Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, Vol I, II, III" are great sources for finding Loyalist ancestors.  The first ancestor that I found was my 5th Great Grandfather, Barnet Bernard Hyler (aka Hiller, Hoiler, Hoyler, etc).  Thanks to his fairly unique name he was pretty easy to identify.  From this book, I know that he was a "prisoner with rebels" while his unit was mustered in Savannah in December of 1779.  I'd love to find out more information on where, when and how he became a prisoner.  I do know, however, that he was back serving again from February through June of 1781.

     I also might have 5th Great-Grandfather, John Meetze.  He is listed with an Orangeburgh militia, along with a Christopher Meetze, which was his father's name.   I'm still looking, but wouldn't be surprised to find more Loyalist ancestors.  I hope I might be able to find out more about them as people and understand their choice.

14 December 2013

Surname Saturday: B

   The following surnames belong to my direct line ancestors.  If you see a name that we have in common, please contact me.

  • Barfield
    • Sarah Barfield was my 3rd Great Grandmother, born in 1851 in Glascock County, Georgia.  There's no record of her before the birth of her children, and some researchers speculate the she was never married and that Barfield was her maiden name.  I think it's likely that it was her married name, though perhaps she did have children from other relationships after this theoretical husband died.
  • Beasley
    • Theodosia Beasley was my 7th Great Grandmother, born about 1744 in Orange County, Virginia.  She married John McMullen.
  • Boatright
    • John Boatright was my 7th Great Grandfather, born about 1680 in Virginia.  This line migrated down to Emanuel County, Georgia. 
  • Boyd
    • Mary Boyd migrated from Northern Ireland to South Carolina in 1767 with her husband, Samuel Armstrong.  The family slowly moved across the state and settled in Abbeville County.
  • Braswell
    • Kindred Braswell was born about 1740 in South Carolina and eventually lived in Burke and Emanuel Counties in Georgia. 
  • Britt
    • William Britt was born about 1825 in Edgefield County, South Carolina.  He married three times, moving his family down through Georgia and settling in Emanuel County.
  • Burkhalter
    • William Burkhalter was born about 1746 in Chatham County, Georgia.  He moved with his family to Edgefield County, South Carolina.
  • Busbee
    • Rebecca Busbee was the second wife of Armistead Parish.  She was born about 1824 and lived with her family in Edgefield County, South Carolina.

10 December 2013

The Problem with Ancestry.com's "Public" Member Trees

     Over the past few weeks, I've seen an uptick in the number of emails I've received regarding DNA matches.  This is great, but it's reminded me of a problem with Ancestry.com's "Public" Member Trees: they are behind a pay-wall.

     Three of the recent emails I've received have sent me to Ancestry.com to find their trees.  None of the sent me a link to those trees, which makes the trees difficult or impossible to find.  But then, even if I do find the tree, I can't access it.  The only people who can access the "Public" trees on Ancestry.com are people with subscriptions.  Right now, that's not me.

     I then ask that the DNA match send me an invite to their tree and usually have to send them step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

     I strongly suggest that if you are doing DNA testing (with a non-Ancestry.com company) that you post your tree on your DNA profile.  So much easier for your matches to review your shared match!  If you are with Ancestry.com, please make your family tree Public.

     Now, DNA testing sites don't have the best family tree functions, so you could also upload your tree to another website.  If you aren't up for really maintaining a second tree, I recommend RootsWeb.  You can simply download a GedCom of your Ancestry.com tree and upload it to RootsWeb.  Every now and then you can update your RootsWeb tree by doing the same thing.  Then, you can send a link to your RootsWeb tree to your match.  Easy for everyone.

03 December 2013

DAR Application Process Has Officially Begun

Gwinnett Historic Courthouse
     I had my meeting with the DAR Registrar and a member of the Lineage Committee today.  There was a little confusion over where we were meeting, but we were able to connect when she sent me an email with her phone number - I was at the top of the wrong staircase.

     As I wrote yesterday, I had prepared a binder with all of my documents proving lineage back to my patriot ancestor, John Cash (A020406), and had already sent in a pedigree chart.  The first thing the ladies wanted to know was whether this line connects with the singer, Johnny Cash, which it does (he's my third cousin, twice removed).

     The Registrar has looked up my ancestor in the DAR's Genealogical Research Database, where other members had joined through John's son, Moses (my 5th Great-Grandfather).  They had not, however, joined through Moses' daughter, Elizabeth (my 4th Great-Grandmother).  I paged through the binder I'd brought, browsing through each generation of death certificate, census records and wills, proving the lineage from myself to Elizabeth, and then Elizabeth to Moses.  

     The DAR ladies seemed very pleased with my records and, based upon the meeting, feel that I have everything that I need.  I left my binder with them, and they will start work on my application.  Apparently, I have to be voted in, but the way they mentioned this it seems like a technicality.  Also, because I'm under 36, I would be a junior member.  From some of what they said, I got the feeling that the DAR in general is short on junior members, who have certain rolls to fill within the society.  She said that they're a very active chapter, though didn't go into great detail on what all they are active with.

     And in a moment of genealogical serendipity, as we were discussing nearby research repositories, the Registrar mentioned a great map she found at one library.  The map included a road that lead to the property of one of her husband's Burkhalter ancestors.  I had to stop her there and bring up my Burkhalter ancestors, who were from the same area.  I haven't done a ton of research on this line, so I had to pull out my phone to look up the family, but it looks like I found a new cousin!

     The Registrar thinks that I could be a full member by the end of January.  I'm looking forward to moving forward with my application (though no so excited to part with the $150 in fees and dues) and plan to attend the next society meeting in January.

02 December 2013

Tomorrow's Appointment

     I've been emailing the Registrar of the local Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR) Chapter and have set up an appointment to meet with her tomorrow morning at the local courthouse.  I've already emailed her my pedigree chart and decided to print out all of the documents that I have.  I had organized them in Evernote, but decided that I wanted to have a physical copy as well.

     I really hope that I already have the documents that I need.  When I started to get organized for the DAR application process, I realized that I was missing some records.  I've since sent off for a few of those, but the fees do add up.  Here's what I've got:

  1. Myself
    • birth certificate
  2. Father
    • birth certificate
    • Mother
      • marriage license
      • birth certificate
  3. Grandfather - Thomas S Craft
    • amended birth certificate
    • death certificate
    • 1930 census (with parents)
    • Grandmother - Sarah F Britt
      • marriage license & certificate
      • delayed birth certificate
      • death certificate
      • 1930 census (with parents)
  4. Great Grandfather - B E Craft
    • death certificate
    • 1910 census (with parents)
      • Great Grandmother - Sally Ruth Evans
        • obituary (lists parents)
        • 1910 census (with parents)
  5. 2nd Great Grandfather - George "Bob" Craft
    • 1870 & 1880 census (with parents, name variations)
      • 2nd Great Grandmother - Effie Powell
        • marriage license
        • 1880 census (with parents)
  6. 3rd Great Grandmother - Rossie Alexander
    • 1850 & 1860 census (with parents, name variations)
    • death certificate (father's name is wrong)
      • 3rd Great Grandmother - William A Craft
        • marriage license
        • 1860 census (with parents)
  7. 4th Great Grandmother - Elizabeth Cash
    • 1850 census (with parents, initials only)
    • father's will (lists her & husband)
      • 4th Great Grandfather - George Alexander
        • marriage license
        • 1860 mortality census
        • will (lists wife & children)
  8. 5th Great Grandfather - Moses Cash
    • will (lists wife and children)
    • deed (lists father)
    • father's will (lists children)
      • 5th Great Grandmother - Nancy Hudson
        • marriage license
  9. 6th Great Grandfather - John Cash
    • will (lists wife and children)
    • pension file (gives service and BMD dates)
    • deeds (lists son)
      • 6th Great Grandmother - Lucy Campbell
        • widow's pension (gives husband's service and BMD dates)

16 November 2013

Surname Saturday: A

     I've stollen this idea from Colleen Pasquale of the blog "Leaves & Branches."

     There are 4,356 people in my family tree, though only 244 of them are my direct ancestors.  Each Saturday, I will post the surnames of my ancestors, organized alphabetically.

  • Adkins
    • My 4th Great Grandmother, Mariah, wife of Wiley Powell, was said to have the maiden name Adkins.  She was born on 15 Aug 1821 in South Carolina and died on 6 Feb 1912 in Elbert County, Georgia.
  • Albea / Alby
    • My Albea line is traced back to my 6th Great Grandfather, Joseph Alby, born about 1746 in Maryland.  He lived in Frederick and Montgomery Counties and then moved with his children to Iredell, North Carolina.  His grandson, Tillman Albea, moved the family to Lincoln County, Georgia.
  • Alexander
    • George Alexander was born in about 1807 in Georgia and lived in Elbert County.  He was possibly the son of William and Anna Alexander.
  • Allgood
    • Susan Allgood was my 5th Great Grandmother and the wife of Allen Decker. Their daughter Susanna Pheriby Decker (born about 1806) married Jesse Taylor and they lived in Elbert County, Georgia.
  • Armstrong
    • Samuel Armstrong was my 5th Great Grandfather.  He was born in 1742 and traveled from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Charleston, South Carolina in 1767.  He raised his family there and his son John Armstrong, lived in Abbeville County, South Carolina.

15 November 2013

Can You Draw the US?

     First, if you haven't seen it yet, check out this post over at BuzzFeed where people attempt to draw the United States from memory.  It's pretty funny.  No seriously, check it out 'cause it'll make my attempt look a little better.

     I decided to give it a try and this is what I came up with:

     So I started with what I know: the South East.  However, when I started to draw North Carolina, it turned into Virginia and NC got left out.  That's really the only thing that I'm confused about why I got it wrong.  From there, I moved west, where I ran out of paper.  Then did the North East and Mid-West separately, but wasn't quite able to connect them to the rest of the country (which lead to a couple of "states" named "oops."  I completely forgot Wyoming, Nebraska and Wisconsin.  I couldn't figure out where Indiana went and I knew I was putting Iowa in the wrong place, but couldn't figure out where it actually went.  I got some other stuff in the wrong places, but in their general vicinity. Honestly though, I'm kinda happy with how well I did and that I didn't cheat!

     So my challenge to you is to try this on your own.  How well can you do?

14 November 2013

Index Frustrations

     I know good and well that not all genealogy records are online.  But there's just something about FamilySearch.org that makes me forget that.  They just have so many records online that I expect to find the microfilm image I'm looking for every time I log in.  Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

     I've been looking at my Quattlebaum line, trying to flesh out the original records that I have on file.  This is a family that has been researched and written about by many people over the years.  Thanks to this, it was one of the first family lines that I was able to add to my database and trace overseas.  But instead of citing books and websites, I'd like to be citing the actual records.

     Tonight, I went on FamilySearch and found the "Index to estates, 1785-1949" for Newberry County, South Carolina.  I found a listing in the index for my 6th Great-Grandfather, Peter Quattlebaum's, estate administration.  The index listed the package, book, and estate number, so I clicked back through my browser tabs to find the actual record.  Which wasn't there!  The only probate records for Newberry county were wills, which my ancestor apparently did not have.  I about died!  This close!

     I don't know why I expect FamilySearch to have everything online.  There are tons of databases online that provide only an index to records.  And the index itself can be very helpful, providing you with a location in which to look for the actual record.  But I just have this expectation that if FamilySearch has an index, they will also have the microfilm of the actual record.

     Regardless of my unfulfilled and somewhat hyped expectations, sometimes things just don't go your way.  But there's always an alternative.  I now know exactly where the records are, and there are multiple ways to find it.  I can visit the Newberry County Courthouse, the South Carolina State Archive, or send a research request to the SC Archive (these records do not appear to be held on microfilm by FamilySearch).  I'll have this and other records soon and will continue to document my ancestors.

Peter Quattlebaum listed in a Newberry County Estate Index

13 November 2013

Book of Me: Time Capsule

     Week 8 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.  I've fallen behind, but I'm getting caught up!
     In a way, I've created time capsules pretty often, without really setting out to do so.  Take for example the contents of a shoe box I put together in the 6th grade.  I remember collecting the items that seemed important to me at the time; items that I wanted to keep for the future.  In doing so, I created a time capsule that says a lot about my 12 year old self.

     Inside the box: a 6th grade Olympics/Field Day shirt, a program from a play with did in 5th grade art class, the last Calvin and Hobbs comic, a post card from my mom's trip to Puerto Rico, a map of Six Flags, a luggage tag from a 5th grade class trip, a card from a 4-H project, Christmas gift pencils from my 5th grade teacher, two keychains, a ticket and earplugs from the drag races.

     Over the years I've made scrapbooks, many of which contained not just photos, but also mementos.  Those are a form of time capsules as well.

     At the beginning of the year, I created a "2013 Memory Jar" and have been putting mementos inside all year.  I have ticket stubs, a concert pass, buttons, paint chips, note cards, 5K bibs, and more.  If I did something fun or memorable, I put something in the jar.

     I make these time capsules for myself and doubt that anyone else will be interested in them.  It's just fun to be able to look back at my life and have a reminder of what was important to me at a specific time.

12 November 2013

Book of Me: Grandparents

Week 7 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.  I've fallen behind!

     Maternal Grandparents
     As a child, I spent a good amount of time at the home of my maternal grandparents, Roy and Betty (Huyler) Albea.  Roy was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, moved to Greenville as a young teen and then to Atlanta after his parents' divorce.  Betty grew up in Atlanta, but moved back and forth between there and Greenville, where she and Roy met.  They were married in 1947 when Betty was only 15 years old!
     After moving around for a few years, they finally settled down in Atlanta.  Roy worked as a truck driver for Overnite and Betty was a housewife.
     Together they had six children, which they raised in a few different neighborhoods around Atlanta before settling in Decatur.  As their grandchildren arrived, they kept the family close by hosting Sunday dinners and major holidays. Roy and Betty were very proud of their grandchildren and I cherish the hand-made present that my Grandmother made for me throughout my childhood.

Paternal Grandparents

     I didn't see my paternal grandparents, Thomas and Sarah (Britt) Craft, as often as I saw my maternal grandparents.  Both of them grew up in farming families; Thomas' family in Elbert County, Georgia and Sarah's in Emanuel County, GA.  Sarah moved with her father and brother to Elbert County as a teenager and met Thomas when he drove her school bus.  They got married in 1940 when Sarah was only 14 years old!

     They lived on a farm in Elbert County for a number of years and moved to Tucker/Lilburn, Georgia after World War II.  Thomas got a job at Atlantic Steel in Atlanta and ran his own sanitation company, while Sarah worked at a Package Store.

     Together they had seven children, the youngest born 22 years after the oldest.  When we visited, we always knew that we could find canned Cokes in the fridge and candy bars in the kitchen drawer.  The entire family would get together each Christmas Eve, which was always a full house.  When I remember my Granny, I think about her paining my fingernails; when I remember my PawPaw, I think about him giving us rides on his John Deer.

In the Kitchen: Christmas Eve Cake

     When I was young, we always spent Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family.  The evening revolved around the potluck supper which, of course, ended in delicious dessert.  I recently had a craving for the chocolate cake we had, and asked my aunts for the recipe.  Turns out it was a basic Texas Sheet Cake with homemade frosting.  Here's the recipe:

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
4 tbs cocoa
1 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening

Cake Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Mix sugar and flour together.  In a pan, heat cocoa, water and shortening and bring to a boil.  Mix in sugar/flour, then add buttermilk, vanilla and eggs.  Bake in a 13x9 pan for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 stick butter
4 tbs cocoa
5 tbs buttermilk
1 box powdered sugar

Frosting Ingredients:
Melt butter in a pan then add cocoa.  Sift in powdered sugar gradually and mix until smooth then add 1 tbs vanilla.  Pour the frosting over the still-warm cake.

I made the cake for the first time today and couldn't resist licking the frosting spoon when I was done.  Yum!

11 November 2013

They're In the Army Now

Week 11 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.

     This article, and others like it, appeared in The Hartwell Sun newspaper, of Hart County, Georgia.  Published on 3 Aug 1945, this article lists 57 men, "the largest group of men to leave Hart County in months," who had just been drafted into the army.  Included in this list is my Grandfather, Thomas Craft.  He served in Germany as a truck driver and, thankfully, return home a year later.

     The largest group of men to leave Hart County in months went to Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, Monday, where they are being inducted into the armed services.

     Names of the 57 white men are reported by the Local Draft Board as follows:
William C. Stowe,
Cleo Harris Sanders,
Dorsey Partain,
Pelzer H. Herring,
George Harper,
Charlie H. Sanders,
Inman E. Reed,
Lucius B. Alewine,
Thomas S. Craft,
James H. Estes,
Bernice T. McCurley,
Fay H. Cleveland,
Charles S. White,
George E. Hilley,
Charlie T. Pilgrim,
Joe G. Hailey,
Fred Y. Norton,
D. C. Phillips, Jr.,
Artis D. Ertzberger,
Frank H. Thrasher,
James M. Wicker,
Jack Cordell,
James V. Cantrell,
Thomas J. Bailey, Jr.,
Charles M. Cobb,
Robert A. Floyd,
Billy J. Floyd,
Howard W. Earwood,
Fletcher Dove,
Billy E. Clark,
Clifton Floyd, Jr.,
Herbert W. Maret,
Luther Thompson, Jr.,
J. B. Weaver, Jr.,
Beverly J. Bailey,
Charles L. Whitaker, Jr.,
Frank D. Pulliam,
Asa L. Childs,
Dwain E. Gurley,
Owen M. Teasley,
Dewey H. Beggs,
Kyle J. Crook,
James M. Brown, Jr.,
Early B. Sanders,
Edward D. Kesler,
Edgar W. Kay,
C. B. Alewine,
C. L. Brown, Jr.,
Hansel D. Cole,
Prue M. Banister, Jr.,
T. J. Carnes,
Leonard M. Seymour,
John E. Kelly,
Larry E. Senkbeil,
Herschel B. Sayer,
Harold R. Bailey,
Thomas H. Bowers.

John Cash: Private in the Virginia Militia

signature of John Cash
     I have a few ancestors who were known to have fought in the Revolutionary War, but I probably know the most about the service of John Cash.  Thanks to Fold3, I have a copy of his pension application, in which he details his service.  It seems fitting today to write about him and honor his service in helping to found this country.

     Based on his pension application, John Cash was born on 5 April 1757 in Amherst County, Virginia.  In September of 1776 he joined up under Captain Sale (Sayle) of the Virginia Militia as part of a mission called the Cherokee Expedition.  The Cherokee had joined forces with the British and were waging war on settlers on the Tennessee frontier.  John Cash and his fellow militiamen marched in a scouting party, mostly following the path of a larger army that had gone before them.  They did experience a "small skirmish" at Fort Chiswell in Virginia, but John was home a short three months later.

     John served two more times: for one month in Charlottesville, VA, guarding the barracks, and again as a minuteman under Captain Lawson, in which he saw battle near Jamestown, VA at the Battle of Green Springs Plantation in 1781.

     Finally, John was called up for an extra three months of service, during which he was involved in "driving hogs, Cattle & sheep" and "gathering and storing grain for the army."  Hey, whatever you can do for your country, right?  Armies have to eat too!

     John Cash was rewarded for his service when he received extra draws in the 1832 Land Lottery and won land in Henry County, Georgia.  He applied for a pension after his house burned down in 1831 when he was 75 years old.

10 November 2013

My Limited Travels

     There's a meme going around Facebook right now featuring this map.  You can customize it to reflect your travels.  Many of the maps I've seen shared amongst fellow genealogists are much more colorful than my own!  Hopefully one day my map will be more colorful.

Color Key:

  • Red means I've just passed through, maybe seen a thing or two.
  • Amber means I've at least slept there and seen a few things. I have a first-hand idea of what the state is like.
  • Blue means I've spent a good amount of time in that state.
  • Green means I've spent a lot of time in that state, weeks at at time on multiple visits – or lived there.

09 November 2013


Also, was this photo taken in a cemetery?
     I've had this photo for years.  I know, based on a similar photo, that the girl in the middle is Ethel Waters, my Great-Great Aunt.  But I didn't know who the other two girls were... until now.

     I was just looking through photos when it occurred to me, the girl on the left is Aunt Alma, Ethel's sister.  I don't know why I hadn't seen it before, but now it's so obvious.

     So if this is a photo of sisters, it stands to reason that the third girl would be the third sister, my Great Grandmother, Ruby Waters.

     I had to pull up some photos of Ruby to compare them, because I just didn't see it off the bat.  But after reviewing the photo below, I've decided that the girl on the right is indeed my Great-Grandmother! Yay!

     Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the girl on the right is my Great-Grandmother. A cousin says that it's a friend or maybe a cousin, and she's likely older than my Great-Grandmother would have been. I still think a lot of the features for the girl and my grandmother are similar, so I'm betting on a cousin. But, I did identify my GG-Aunt Alma, so there's still a plus side!

08 November 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Recipe Request

     I'm putting out a call for family recipes.  If you have a recipe that has been passed down from our ancestors - Craft side, Albea side, whatever - I'd love to see it.  I'm looking for cakes, casseroles, sandwiches, sides... whatever!  I've previously posted a few recipes here on my blog, mostly ones from my dad; feel free to take a look and then share yours.

07 November 2013

A Surfeit of Juniors

     I descend from two different Craft lines: my direct paternal surname is Craft, and my paternal Grandfather's maternal Grandmother was also a Craft.  Got that?  Both lines lived in Elbert County, Georgia for many generations, and are commonly believed to connect at the 4th Great-Grandfather level.  I waver back and forth on whether or not I believe that my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfathers, Willis Craft and William J Craft were brothers (marked with stars in the diagram), the sons of John Craft and Mary Moss.

     I only recently found a document that that connects Willis Craft to his father, John Craft.  This record was found in Estate Records, and lists Willis Craft and John Craft Jr as the minor children of John Craft Sr.  I'm lucky that there are no other Willis Crafts in the area at this time, so when I see the name, I know it is my 4th Great Grandfather.

     What struck me when I found this record was the mention of John Craft Jr.  Note that John is listed before Willis, which can indicate (but is not a guarantee) of the childrens' birth order.   However, it does fit the birth order of my William (1803) and Willis (1809).

     So, I have likely proven that Willis Craft is the son of John Craft Sr. - but what about William J Craft?  Could the J be for John? (And I should note that only the 1850 census gives Williams' middle initial as 'J'; no other document supplies a name or initial.)

     Doesn't look like it.  Next, I found this 1840 census record from Elbert County, Georgia.
     This record proves that that there was a William Craft and there was a John Craft Jr.  This William is younger than mine, but his children and wife's ages are correct - maybe his age was just recorded wrong?

     Let's jump to another record, the marriage bond of William Craft and Sarah Cash that I just found yesterday:

     Did you notice? William is given the suffix Junior.  I know that this is my William J Craft, but this is the first time I've seen him listed as a Junior.   Is one little suffix the bit of evidence that proves William and Willis were not brothers?

06 November 2013

Evernote Prepping For My DAR Application

      I heard back from the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) regarding my membership questions.  They were able to provide me information regarding fees and dues, as well as on an upcoming meeting.  I hope to attend, but since I work weekends I might not be able to make it.  I sent a pedigree chart (using the DAR form) to the chapter's registrar, and she's going to look at my patriot ancestor and help me decide if I need to send off for any records held by the DAR.

     Until I can meet with the Registrar, I'm working on organizing my documentation.  Just like when writing out a biography or sketch of an ancestor, this process is helping me realize what documents I'm missing.  For example, I have my PawPaw's (paternal grandfather) death certificate, but I've never scanned it.  Well I have now!

     Having recently used Evernote to help plan my upcoming vacation, I decided to use the program to organize my DAR application documents.  I've created a Notebook called "DAR - John Cash" and individual Notes for each ancestor.  I'm numbering the generations, starting with myself as #1.  Couples get an "A" or "B," with "A" going to the ancestor directly descended from my patriot ancestor.

     In each Note, I'm attaching a copy of each document, as well as a summary of the information contained in that document.  Here's a screenshot of what this all looks like:

     I'm sure the DAR is going to want paper copies (although I don't know, maybe I can email all the documents?), and this is really for my own benefit and for meeting with the Registrar.  All images saved in the Note can be opened up using Preview (or any other image view application) and are saved elsewhere on my computer.

     I'm happy that my DAR application is moving forward and will post more when I know it.

05 November 2013

Travel Tuesday: Colonial Williamsburg

     A month from today I'll be setting out on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia).  This trip will be my first time there and will be the furthest north I've ever been.  I've been planning the details of my trip and hope not to miss any must-see attractions.

     Although I didn't plan it purposefully, I'll be there during the weekend they call "Grand Illuminations," though I'll only be there for the morning of the big day (Sunday).  This is the beginning of their Christmas season, which seems like a great time to be there.

     If you've been to Colonial Williamsburg, especially during Christmas, I'd love any suggestions or tips, good or bad.  I'm very interested in learning about the everyday lives of people in the 18th century.  Here's what we've got planned so far:

  • Orientation Tour
  • Time for most of the "Trades," old fashioned Shops, Governors Palace and hopefully, but lastly, old homes
  • Attend, "A Christmas Tale," "A Public Audience with a Founding Father," "Order in the Court," "Fifes and Drums March," "A Revolutionary Holiday," "Ghost Tavern Walk," and "Christmastide at Home."
  • We have a reservation at Shields Tavern and will eat someplace cheaper the other nights
  • Grab lunch at The Cheese Shop and... ? two other days
  • Shop in the Market Square and Merchants Square 
    So please, please share some suggestions!

04 November 2013

Matrimonial Monday: Georgia Marriage Records

     From my experience with Georgia (state) genealogy research, the most readily available marriage records are the Marriage Books kept by the county clerk of the Superior Court.  These books record marriage licenses and go back to 1805 when they were required by law.  They are, for the most part, fully available on microfilm at the Georgia Archive and online at GeorgiaArchives.com and FamilySearch.org through the early 1900s.

     Unlike marriage records in some other states, Georgia's marriage records aren't exactly fonts of information.  The license contains only the bride and grooms' names, the date of the marriage, the county it was performed in, and who it was performed by.  There are no ages, parents or specific locations given.

     If you dig a little deeper, often visiting a local courthouse, you might find Marriage Bonds as well.  These are often "loose" records and are likely to have been microfilmed, however they don't provide information on the actual marriage and are thus not as likely to be found online.

     Marriage Bonds represent a groom's intent to marry and his promise to pay a penalty if he backs out or it's discovered that he is not eligible to marry.  The best thing about the marriage bond is that it is co-signed by another person, often a relative of the bride.  Their name might help uncover the bride's family.  These bonds are not proof that a marriage occurred however, so you should rely on the Marriage Books for real evidence.

Images: Top: Marriage License of George Craft and Effie Powell, recorded in "Elbert County Marriage Book, 1882 - 1893."  Bottom: Marriage Bond of Moses Craft and Nancy Hudson, stored in Elbert County, "Marriages box M1 1802-1808."

03 November 2013

Flu Season & Two Month Checkups

     It's that time of year where we are all encouraged to get our flu shots; meanwhile, my baby nephew recently got his two month vaccines.  In line with this, I'm reminded of the interview I recently did with my Great Aunt Ree at Story Corps.

     While talking about her father's death from Tuberculosis in the 1940s, we ended up on the topic of general illness.  When she was a child (the 1930s), they didn't have vaccines like we do today.  Because of this, she came down with just about every "childhood disease," as she called them.  It's a foreign concept to me to consider measles and mumps as diseases a child would be expected to catch.  When a member of the family came down with a serious illness, the home was quarantined.  My Great-Aunt said that one year, she caught so many diseases that she missed most of the school year and was held back.  I had to wonder: her parents were mill workers who depended on each day's wage; how did the family suffer financially due to the quarantine? (My aunt couldn't give specifics due to her young age.)

     My mom remembers getting the polio vaccine as a school girl in the late 1960s.  The entire family (six kids), went up to the high school together for the polio vaccine on a sugar cube, as well as a TB test.  My dad still has a scar on his arm from his childhood vaccinations.

     My history with vaccines is more like that of my nephew: got 'em young.  I recently found my immunization card, which lists the shots I got and when I got them.  How times change!

02 November 2013

Surname Saturday: Cash

     My Cash family line starts with two sister: Elizabeth and Sarah Cash.  Both were my Fourth Great Grandmothers, as their descendants would eventually marry and bring the line back together.  Thus, I am twice over a Cash descendant.

     Elizabeth and Sarah Cash's parents were Moses Cash (abt 1785, VA - 1846, GA) and Nancy Hudson (abt 1790-1823, GA), who were married on 6 Sep 1808 in Elbert County, Georgia.  The couple had many children, among them Moses Reuben Cash, the ancestor of singer Johnny Cash (making him my 3rd cousin, 3x removed).  Moses had come south from Virginia with his parents, John Cash (1757, VA - 1836, GA) and Lucy Campbell (1760, VA - 1848, GA).  

     John Cash was born in Amherst County, Virginia and enlisted there in 1776 to become part of the Cherokee Expedition (against Cherokee who were allied with the British) during the Revolution.  I'm currently trying to join the DAR through this ancestor.

     I can trace back one more generation on this line, to Stephen Cash and Jemima Grinning, also of Virginia.

     A map of modern day surname distribution shows that the Cash name is still popular in Amherst County (http://publicprofiler.org).  My direct ancestors might have moved on, but many of their descendants stayed put.

     One thing thats' great about this line is that it is backed up by DNA!  I have four different DNA matches on my Cash line.  In the chart here, you can see three of those matches (from ftDNA) and the DNA that they share with my dad, though none of them are on the same segment.  Yay!


01 November 2013


     I haven't been doing much genealogy lately.  I've let my Ancestry.com subscription lapse and haven't made any trips to archives or libraries.  But I did receive a death certificate in the mail today, which has given me a bit of jump start.

     I ordered the death certificate of my Great-Great-Great Grandmother recently, when reviewing my documents for a potential DAR application.  I realized that I was missing her death certificate, as well as that of her son, so I sent off for it.  Yesterday I received her DC in the mail and... sigh... not helpful.

     Rossie Alexander Craft was 98 years old when she died and her death certificate was filled out by her daughter in law.  Apparently Mrs JW Craft didn't have the best information.  Rossie's father was Georgia Alexander, not George Craft; Rossie's mother is listed simply as "Miss Cash," no first name given.   So for the sake of paternity, this death certificate is practically useless.

     At the same time, it's been almost a month since I emailed my local DAR chapter (the only form of contact seemingly available).  Aside from a "I'll forward this to the right person," I haven't heard back from them.  I'm only moderately interested in joining, so I don't have a ton of patience to wait for information.  I've sent them a followup email and we'll see what happens.

14 October 2013

Baby DNA

     When my twin sister had a baby a few months ago, I could hardly wait to DNA test the cute little guy.  He wasn't exactly thrilled with the process, but he only has a baby's memory, so although he fussed while we swabbed the inside of his cheek, he literally fell asleep two minutes later.

    His DNA results came back the other day, about two weeks early.  Exciting!  So, what did I get out of this?

     Or should I first say, what didn't I get out of this?  By testing my nephew, I'm only getting further away from my ancestors.  His DNA isn't going to help me find genealogical connections through my ancestors.  However, he does open up the DNA door to my brother-in-law's side of the family.  His family is moderately interested in their family history, but in a absent sort of way.

     I also proved that my sister and I are identical twins.  I share 3358.69 cM with my nephew, which is the amount of DNA a parent shares with a child.  By contrast a normal amount of DNA for an aunt/uncle/nephew/niece is shown when comparing my nephew and my brother, who share 938.48 cM of DNA.  The high level of  DNA I share with my nephew proves that my sister and I have just about identical DNA.

     I also get to compare my nephews DNA with my parents' (his grandparents') DNA.  It's pretty neat to view the chromosome chart for their shared DNA:

     It would be really neat to have his paternal grandparents in here as well... but not neat enough for me to pay for.

     It's also neat to compare my nephew's DNA to other relatives.  Below, you can see the DNA he shares with his Great-Great Aunt (left) and the DNA I share with her (right):


     If you remember that my DNA (right) is a stand in for his mom, my identical twin, you can see that it's very similar to mine, but he does share less DNA.

     From testing my nephew, I get more "neat" than useful, but I'm still excited to see it.  I'm going to play with his results over at GedMatch.com and might take a look through his paternal matches (matches that don't match me).  Maybe I can find him some new cousins on that side of his family.

A Sporadic Journal Writer

     Week 6 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.

     I'm not always good at finishing projects that I start, and because of that, I'm very proud to have kept this blog going for six years.  It is a sort of journal of my genealogy adventures, shared with the world.  Over the years I've sporadically created a number of other journals, though none have lasted longer than a year.

     I first started journaling my senior year in high school.  That year, as a class project, I created my senior scrapbook, which got me started scrapbooking.  From there, I created many scrapbooks, which are something of a photographic journal.  Some were books about specific topics (the cruise we went on), while others covered a specific length of time.

     Also during my senior year, we were required to carry agenda books.  They included all the school rules, a calendar, and our hall pass.  Many of us turned the covers into a collage of year-long memories.  Mine is covered with stickers and buttons that highlight what was popular in 2001/2002.  Inside, I have a record of homework assignments, school activities, test schedules, and more.  It's like a little time capsule.

     I also kept a journal in 2008.  It turned out to be  a very memorable year, with my first (only) trip to Disney World, the Summer Olympics, Presidential Election and the recession.  I wrote in this journal for exactly a year, before starting a new one.  The new lasted about two weeks and then I fell out of writing.  Like I said, I'm not very good a finishing things.

03 October 2013

Wiley's "Indian War" Service Record

     Back on September 4th, I wrote about my trip to the Atlanta branch of the National Archives.  There, I found the service record index card for my 4x Great Grandfather, Wiley Powell.  Using the information from that card, I submitted a research request via the National Archive's online research request form.  I filled out the form on September 4th and only 15 days later, they shipped my records.

     I was a little disappointed in the records I received; this three page service record:

     The information that I did receive will allow me to further research what exactly my ancestor was doing during his service.  Unfortunately, it's not exactly uplifting.

     Wiley Powell joined the 1st Georgia Militia, Bowman's Company, on 16 May 1838 in New Echota, Georgia.   This date coincides with the May 23rd deadline for Cherokee Indians to voluntarily relocate to Indian Territory and New Echota was the Cherokee's capital.  It's pretty much certain that Wiley was involved in rounding up the Cherokee who did not voluntarily leave on their own.

     You never like to find out upsetting things about your ancestors.  However, facts are facts and there's no point burying the information.  I plan to do more research on the 1st Georgia Militia and Bowman's Company to find out more about Wiley's activities during this tragic time.

01 October 2013

Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

Week 5 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.

     The house that I consider my childhood home isn't the one we lived in when I was born.  We only lived at that house until I was a few weeks old, so I often forget about it entirely.

     Instead, I consider "The Duplex" on Cruse Road to be my childhood home.  It was right on the corner of Cruse Road, a busy two lane surface street, and... some other road that lead into the subdivision. Being the first house on the entrance of a subdivision, we had a large yard with one of those big brick neighborhood signs.  People pretty often ran into it, and my parents didn't like my siblings and I to play in the yard unaccompanied.

     My favorite memory of this house has got to be the back patio (and by patio I mean the the barely 5x5 concrete slab off the kitchen door).  The back yard couldn't have been deeper than 10 feet before it dropped into a wooded swampy area.  Every spring the backyard would be flooded by tiny little frogs.  I love frogs!  One year, McDonald's was on an environmental kick and was giving out seeds and tiny greenhouses in their happy meals.  I remember catching a frog and keeping it in the tiny plastic greenhouse for a few minutes.  Frogs!

     We moved out of the duplex when I was in third grade, but I do have a number of fond memories of living in that house.  Here are some photos of those times:

Babies on the porch

Our tiny garden

Our first bikes

The Most Memorable Season: Fall

Week 4 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.

     Thinking back on childhood memories, I think some of my fondest occurred in the fall. Sure, Summer is fun - but the heat! The sunburns! Spring is nice, but kinda boring actually. And winter is fun with scarves and mittens and the chance to build a snowman about once in five years; but in the end it's too cold. But Fall? It's just about perfect.

     When I was a kid, Fall started off all about Halloween and leaves falling. Because you know the two go together. There were a few years where we got those big orange trash bags with pumpkin faces on them. We'd get together with some of the neighbor kids and get the leaves out of everyone's yard and -viola- giant pumpkin! Add some tissue paper ghosts and paper skeletons to the yard and you're good to go! 

     At school, we always got to do fun little fall themed project.  We made paper pumpkins for Halloween, as well as a variety of Thanksgiving projects such as "pilgrims and indians" and this adorable hand-print turkey from when I was 5 years old.

     Fall also signifies the beginning of the family holidays. My maternal family always got together for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  It's not the same now, so I look on back fondly on those memories today.

     And finally, in Georgia, Fall doesn't necessarily equal cool weather. But it usually does equal not hot weather. And regardless of the temperature, the leaves will turn and you'll get the longer shadows all day. Even if it doesn't feel like fall, it will look like it!

     And finally, when the weather does start to turn cold, you get to drink hot chocolate. With marshmallows.

30 September 2013

A Biography Disguised as a Pension Record

     I have been meaning, for years, to put together an application for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  I had one line that I was going to pursue, but upon seeing the pension application that his children submitted, I had some doubts as to his service.  Since then, I've decided to pursue an alternative ancestor: John Cash.

     John Cash applied for a pension in 1832, when he was 75 years old.  Thanks to this pension application, I know about his military service: dates, locations, jobs, etc.  But what really surprised me was the amount of information that I learned about the rest of John's life.

     John's application is mainly about his service, but does also detail where he lived and when he moved.  I now know that John and family lived in Amherst and Bedford Counties, Virginia, and moved to Elbert County, Georgia, in 1802.  But where the really good stuff comes in is actually after his death, when his wife and then his children apply to continue the pension for themselves.

     Take this portion of his wife, Lucy's, application for example:

     The document gives the date of John and Lucy's marriage, "as well as remembered," her birth date, and her husband's birth date.  The very next page states that these dates were recorded in a family Bible, but that it was lost in a house fire in December of 1831.  However, Lucy does remember that she and John were married by a traveling minister in the home of Charles Rore and that the marriage was not recorded with the government.

     As the documents go on (73 pages!), this lack of legally recorded marriage becomes a problem.  The family Bible was the only recording of the the couple's marriage and the children's births.  Government recorded vital records just aren't available for this time. Eventually, Lucy does receive a pension, but it's unclear if the children ever received benefits.

     Probably the most interesting document is one regarding the burning of the Cash family home.  The document itself is not dated, but other documents in the file state the the house burned in December of 1831.  The family was petitioning the community of McDonough, Georgia for charitable donations to support the elderly couple and their unmarried daughters.  The petition is followed by a list of those in the community who donated a dollar or so each to help the family.

     I am a bit concerned that this pension application, which mentions John and Lucy's children, does not mention their son and my ancestor, Moses Cash.  However, Moses is listed as one of John's children in his will.  

     When I started organizing documents for this line, I also realized that I was missing some pretty basic documents.  What do you mean I don't have death certificates for my 3x Great Grandmother and 2x Great Grandfather?  I'd simply never needed them to confirm the family line and hadn't ordered them.  I've started to do so now, and hopefully I won't procrastinate too much longer and can work on my DAR application.

27 September 2013

Troy L Partain, 1931-2013

     My Uncle, Troy Partain, passed away Wednesday night.  The following obituary appeared in the Gwinnett Daily Post today:
"STONE MOUNTAIN Troy Partain Troy L. Partain, age 82, of Stone Mountain (Gwinnett County), Ga., died Thursday evening, September 25, 2013. His funeral will be Saturday, September 28, 2013, at 2 pm in the Bill Head Funeral Home, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, with Dr. Robert Woodall officiating. Burial will follow in Eternal Hills Memory Gardens, Snellville with Air Force Military Honors. Born in Anderson, SC., Troy was a retired trainer for General Motors and a 11 year veteran of the U. S. Air Force. He was a member of Lilburn First Baptist Church. Survived by his wife of 52 years, June Craft Partain of Stone Mountain, daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Bill Williams of Lexington, NC., son, James Partain of Stone Mountain, grandchildren, Joshua (Tiffany) Williams, Andrea Williams, Danielle Partain, Alex Partain, sister, Shirley Royston of Royston, Ga., and loving and faithful canine companion, Kasey. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Crossroads Hospice for their care to Troy. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Crossroads Hospice, suite 500, 1957 Lakeside Pkw., Tucker, Ga., 30084. Condolences may be left at www.billheadfuneralhome.com. The family will receive friends Saturday from 12 noon until 2 pm at the Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel. 770-564-2726."

24 September 2013

Walking in Their Footsteps

     I wrote the other day about my trip to Chickamauga and what I learned about what my ancestors experienced there.  I then created a video to summarize everything and, hopefully, make it entertaining.  For family: the two ancestors mentioned in the video are the paternal Great-Grandfathers of Betty Huyler Albea.

     Check out the video:

My Physical Self

Week 3 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.

     At the very basic level, my physical self is determined by my genes. Sure, I can dye my hair or lose/gain weight, but the building blocks begin with my DNA.  One of the neat side benefits of 23andMe's DNA testing for genealogy, is the geneotype results (what my DNA says I should look like).   So how do my geneotype results compare to my phenotypes (what I actually look like)?

Hair Color:
- Genotype: "Typical odds of having red hair" and "Typical odds of having blond hair (vs. brown hair)."
- Phenotype: White-Blond as a baby, now a light or golden brown with blond sun-streaks. Sometimes a red tint in the sun.

Hair Curl:
- Genotype: "slightly curlier hair on average" and "Typical amount of hair curl."
- Phenotype: Shirley temple curls as a toddler, now only slightly wavy if left to dry on its own.

Eye Color:
- Genotype: "72% chance of blue eyes; 27% chance of green eyes; 1% chance of brown eyes."
- Phenotype: Light Blue, though they can appear green if I'm wearing green.

- Genotype: "Typical amount of freckling" and "Typical number of freckles and moles."
- Phenotype: Sparsely freckled all over. I assume that's "typical."

- Genotype: "Subjects averaged 0.3 - 0.7 centimeters taller than typical height" and "Subjects averaged 0.4 cm (0.16 in) taller than typical."
- Phenotype: I'm 5'4.5".  I consider myself just under average height and on the tall side of short.

- Genotype: "Typical BMI" and "On average, BMI is 0.19 units lower than typical for adults (1-2 pounds, depending on height)" and "Decreasing calorie intake and increasing physical activity through walking is associated with weight loss."
- Phenotype: I was thin as a child, a little heavy before puberty, skinny after puberty and then got heavy  after starting college.  About a year ago I started county calories and walking for exercise and I've since lost 75 pounds.  Yay!

     So overall, it seems like my genes dictated my physical appearance when I was young, but things changed as I got older.  And of course, some things are more effected by the environment than my genes.  I have a scar on my right hand between my knuckles from a car accident and one on my right knee from a fall.  I had braces in 3rd grade, which attempted to straighten my teeth (but I didn't keep them long enough for them to really help).


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